Taught course

Systems Neuroscience

University of Sheffield · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in either a life science (including psychology) or a mathematical/physical science (including engineering).

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

Months of entry


Course content

Explore the interactions between neural structures to understand how brain cells communicate and transform information to control the body. Learn about the core problems in systems neuroscience and develop your understanding of the disciplines and techniques used to address these problems.

Course description

It’s widely recognised by modern neuroscience that taking a systems approach to exploring the brain is vital to understanding brain function. Systems neuroscience focuses on the interactions between neural structures in networks that influence sensorimotor control and information processing. It’s these interactions that provide us with a foundation for understanding the relationship between brain structure and brain function that underpins behaviour.

This 12-month course is designed to provide you with in-depth training into the core problems in systems neuroscience, and will develop your understanding of the disciplines and techniques used to address these problems, such as research methods in cognitive neuroscience, data visualisation, computational modelling and neuroimaging methods.

Over six months, you'll work on your research project in cognitive neuroscience with one of our world-leading experts in the Department of Psychology. Your research topic could range from theoretical to basic neuroscience. You may have the opportunity to collect and analyse real-life cognitive brain science data, using state-of-the-art equipment, before presenting your findings at our summer postgraduate students' conference.

The project gives you the opportunity to put your new techniques in experimental neuroscience into practice, while exploring ideas at the cutting-edge of cognitive neuroscience. It's common for MSc research projects to form the basis of publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Example research projects:

  • Impaired neurovascular coupling in hAPP-J20 Alzheimer's mice models following electrode insertion
  • Investigating the effect of 5-HT2a receptor agonist 1P-LSD on cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood oxygenation in an animal model
  • The contribution of cortical interneurons to neurovascular coupling: An optogenetic study
  • An examination of parvalbumin expressing interneurons in murine models of autism spectrum disorder

If you have a passion for understanding the brain and behaviour, whether your background stems from biology, engineering, physics, mathematics, psychology or medicine, this interdisciplinary course has been designed to ensure that all students gain in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of neuroscience, ready for an exciting career in research or industry.

The University is home to the Neuroscience Institute which brings together internationally-recognised expertise in medicine, science and engineering to improve the lives of patients and families affected by neurological, sensory and developmental disorders.

Other courses in cognitive neuroscience

We offer MSc courses that cover the full breadth of cognitive neuroscience, from the biological basis, to imaging and simulation, allowing you to discover the area that you’re most interested in:

MSc Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging

Please see our University website for the most up-to-date course information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/courses

Information for international students

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

For more information about entry requirements for international students, please visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/applying/postgraduate-taught

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 114 222 6533